The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Today is the feast of the Holy family.  We tend to have an idealized picture of the Holy family. Angels whispering in the ears of Mary and Joseph telling them what to do in moments of doubt. We tend to see the home at Nazareth as a haven of uninterrupted calm, perfect harmony, and complete understanding.

We see Jesus and Joseph living as it were a sunlit Island, cut off from the storms and raises the world. 

No doubt but that such a picture bears a resemblance to reality.

We are not told very much about the life of the Holy family in the Gospels.  We are given glimpses. With the help of these as well as reading between the lines, we get a quite different picture. We see that the Holy Family had at least its fair share of storms and in that respect was a normal and typical family.  

For example;

When the time came for Jesus to be born. Joseph and Mary couldn't find accommodation.  To have doors shut in your face is not a nice feeling. Their joy at the birth of the child was short-lived. No sooner was he born than he became the target of Herod's murderers so that Joseph and Mary had to go into exile. There they knew what it is like to be a foreigner.

Back home they had to find a place where they could begin life all over again.  

When Jesus was twelve, during a visit to Jerusalem,  he got lost. Joseph and Mary looked for him with fear and sorrow in their hearts.

During his public life, Mary did not always understand what he was doing.  She saw him being taken over by the crowds.  Once she made a vain attempt to rescue him. She saw the tide turn against him and the net authority close around him.

Finally, he came to crucifixion when a sword of sorrow pierced the heart of her son.

After all this, we can still believe that the Holy Family lived a sheltered and trouble-free life? I do not see how we can. It is for this reason that the Holy Family is a model for us. If it had never known sorrow or trouble or pain, how could it serve as an example for us? 

Our families are often visited by sorrow, misunderstandings, and problems of one kind or another. Our lives together are often disrupted, sometimes perhaps broken up altogether. 

We should not grow disheartened.  Joseph and Mary would understand.  Besides, there is more depth to relationships that have weathered some storms. Sorrow and problems can bring people together provided they are shared. Ideally, there is no place like home. There I have a refuge,  where I am always welcome. There, forgiveness,  love, and understanding await me.

Is family life an impossible ideal? Difficult YES but impossible NO. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph will help us to grow in grace and favor with God and with one another. 

So;

-Do not spoil me. I know I ought not to have all I ask for. I am only testing you.

- Don't be afraid to be firm with me. It makes me feel secure.

- Don't nag, or I shall have to pretend myself by appearing deaf.

- Do not correct me in front of others, I will take more notice of you to correct me in private.

- Don't rush promises, I feel badly let down when promises are broken

- Don't be inconsistent, that completely confuses me.

- Don't put me off when I ask questions or I think being forced to seek my information elsewhere 

- Don't think beneath your dignity to apologize if you are wrong. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you. This increases love, acceptance, and peace.

BUT two things I need above all others- UNDERSTANDING and LOVE. If you give me these, the rest will take of themselves 

Fr. Mubangizi JohnBosco Mccj

 


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